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    Coloring Hair after Chemo
    sue8434 posted:
    I have heard not to color your hair for 6 months after chemo. Anyone know the reason why? Is it for medical reasons or is it hard on the hair, or will it just not work right? My sister-in-law is sending me some henna products to try. They are natural coloring products that you mix up-no harsh chemicals as I understand it. Anyone done this? Does it work? And must one wait the 6 months to do this? I am 4 1/2 months out from my last chemo. Thanks. Sue
    bc090109 responded:

    Good question! I'm not sure about this myself and will be reading any responses for helpful hints.

    You're 4 1/2 months out from your last chemo? How much hair growth have you experienced?

    I keep talking to my scalp every day telling my hair to "grow". I know it sounds silly but it makes me laugh at myself in a good way. Ever since I finished the AC treatments and even though I'm doing Taxotere now, my hair seems to be happily showing itself. The amount of hair follicles on my scalp are increasing although most of it is on the top of my head. I'm counting the months until I don't have to wear a wig anymore.

    Again, thanks for posting the question!
    Rachael67 responded:
    I did not deal with this issue, but as I recall from other members, coloring the "chemo" hair is a little tricky.
    The chemical do a real number to what initially mkaes it debut on your barren scalp. The most common result is the color orange...Fashionable primarily at Halloween but not too regularly at other times.

    I think the word of the day would be "patience"! I know: Lord, grant me patience...and do it NOW!

    The new hair tends to not be what you were used to prior to chemo. Many ladies who have always had straight hair, suddenly have bouncing curls. The texture will be a bit odd also. Some have baby-fine hair, very soft. (Keep in mind that texture can often dictate what happens when you apply color!) Generally many ladies have much grey in their hair as it appears, but others comes in jet black! Go figure!!

    I recall one member saying that she truly won't care if it comes back "calico" as long as it comes back!!

    I don't recall a discussion with "natural" colorings. If you learn more or if members are familiar with the results of such remedies, please post! We've so much to learn from one another!!

    Eventually the chemo hair will gow out, it will be cut and you can return to whatever pleases you color-wise! Unfortunately, it just takes time!

    sue8434 replied to bc090109's response:
    My hair is about 1 1/2 inches long, except for the right side which is only 1 inch long. I can't explain the difference, but the left side, top and back are 1 and 1/2 inches. Last taxol was Oct 27. When the hair started to grow, it also grew extra long on my face and neck in the the beard and mustache areas. I read somewhere else that this is like the fine hair that premie newborns might have. I is called something like languna and will go away if left alone. I chose to shave mine off and now am letting it grow again to see how long it gets this time. It is very fine and light colored but it looks really bad in the sunlight (at least in my opinion.) I too am so anxious not to have to wear a wig. I just don't like the bald look on me though. I'm 58 and my hair is coming in with alot of white, so some color would definitely be nice. I think that maybe if I had color, I could go to the hair salon and get it evened out and then get some hair product to 'spike' it up a bit. Good luck with the Taxotere. I had Taxol and did get some moderate neuropathy in my fingers and toes. That started about half way through I believe. I still have it although it seems like it is starting to get better. Sue
    miarka responded:
    Oh please don't! I did it, using Natural Instincts in July. That was about 4 months after my last chemo. It went totally orange! I had to redo several times, using color that were ash, to get the orange out. It's because your hair is damaged by the chemicals. I have no problems now, and my hairdresser does it, just to cover and blend in the grey that appeared. It was 8 months after chemo, when most of the frizzly bits had been cut off. Hope this helpds.
    sue8434 replied to miarka's response:
    Thanks. I snipped a piece of my hair off and put it in the henna dye, and yes, the ends of my hair that are white from chemo did turn orange. I will wait!! Sue
    hibuscusflower responded:
    Hi sue,i color my hair three month`s after i finish my taxotere chemo treatment i went darker because my hair
    that came out was white it came out very nice don`t where
    a wig, be careful for henna your hair will be red,and no collor will change it that is why they say we must wait 6
    month`s mine look nice and you can see my hair but nothing make it lighter.i use nutrese dark brown and it came out black,so be careful .
    sue8434 replied to hibuscusflower's response:
    Actually, I have made peace with my hair color. It is fairly white around the face and then darker or salt and pepper elsewhere on my head. I get lots of compliments on it. It does have some curl and I use a spiking "glue" to get it to stand up some. Its kind of fun and I'll leave it this way for as long as it lasts. Thanks for your reply. I'm sure hair color is in my future again on down the road.
    564deb replied to sue8434's response:
    Sue, My hair also grew back very salt and pepper at first and then turned to an almost steel gray.  The color didn't bother me at all and I had fun this past winter buying gray clothes and coats and silver earrings.  I have kept it short because my hair came back in very curly, almost like a poodle in the back.  It has been a year since my last chemo treatment (March 20, 2009).  The curls are almost gone and my texture is back to normal. I still love the ease of keeping it short and, like you, a little spiky in the back.I decided a few weeks ago (on the spur of the moment) to go blonde.  My hair also turned out a lot more red than I or the hairdresser expected.  Very strawberry blonde.  I have gone back for another weave and now it is better.  I like it, but I'm not sure I like it any better than the gray.  Like I told the hairdresser, once you look at yourself bald, you can handle most any color hair.  Enjoy the simplicity of your short, sassy style. Deb
    kiwiallright responded:

    Six months to the day of my last chemo treatment we coloured some of the glorious grey that has returned and we only went abt 1/4 of all the solutions and the first thing I noticed after about two weeks was an orange tinge - now I understand why, I am waiting until abt June 18 and will be dying it again so I look good in my son's wedding pictures.. Before chemo my hair was naturally curly, I would use a perm to straighten out the frizz and the curl especially in the back. When it grew back at first it was straight as a nail - now it is as curly as it comes. I have decided to keep it short but it will not spike because of the curls. What I like is it is my own hair, I get to stay in the shower a few minutes longer because I do not have to blow dry my hair - I did a few weeks ago and i looked like bush - so I just put aussie gel in it and it stays curly all day long. Actually today I am in the car going to work and realized that I forgot to out the comb through it - hey it was great I just pushed the curls from one side to the other and wella, I looked as if I had spent twenty minutes doing it. i will watch for the orange tinge.
    sue8434 replied to 564deb's response:
    Oh, that's so true. I didn't do bald very well and covered it up with a wig. So nice to be rid of it tho, those things can get a little itchy. I actually get alot of compliments on my curly salt and pepper hair. So I'm just sticking with it for awhile. Thanks for sharing your experiences. Sue
    sue8434 replied to kiwiallright's response:
    Yes, it sure is easy to take care of this way. A little gel after shampooing and ready to go. Love that! Sue
    Saladin10 responded:
    Hey Lady!
    I was told not to color either. The chemicals are bad for the hair folocules (mispelled). I tried the henna rinse and decided to just wait-didn;t last.. I had a very short hair cut and At 43 then I had salt and pepper hair color; just stayed natural. You know that white/silver hair color is very chic. Anyway, I was thankful that my hair only thinned out. It is always a personal preference
    Take care and big hugs! Barb: aka Saladin10
    Karen1517 replied to miarka's response:
    I agree 100% - don't do it!! I have been finished with chemo for three months now and was warned about my hair turning orange. Well, I did it anyway, and guess what, my hair turned orange. I know Halloween is around the corner, but I really didn't want to look like a pumpkin!! Well, I was able to dye it a shade of brown, which still isn't very nice. It still has the orange tint to it. As much as I hated the color I had before the dye job, I sure wish I had it back. Please wait!!!
    brcansur responded:
    The reason they tell you this is because the color will not come out the right way. It will come out some other color and not one you will like more like a orange or red nothing nice that is for sure. This is because your body is changing and going back to normal plus you have chemo drugs leaving your body still. So please listen to your onc and don't color your hair for 6 months if not longer. I am a retired hairdresser can,t do hair anymore do to bad back. But had to fix a lot of hair do to this and other mistakes women did at home. Not a easy job !!!! And not good for your hair to have to put more chemicals on it to fix it and get the color right. It will damage your hair for a long time actually till it grows outand you can cut it off. So don't let anyone tell you different just to get you to do it. Keep your healthy hair.
    Have a great day angel hugs Roberta,

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